KATONG SHOPPING CENTRE (865 Mountbatten Road)

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice (#B1-85/87)
Contrary to its name, don’t expect to get deboned cuts of chicken unless you ask. A single serving of roasted chicken rice will snag you a sizeable portion of smooth meat topped with crispy fried garlic and a free bowl of vegetable soup. Help yourself to free-flow achar and add a braised egg for a total of $5. Tue-Sun 10.30am-8pm

Rey Im Cosmetics House (#01-36/38)
From ceiling to floor, toiletries pack the shelves at Rey Im. You can find almost anything: Pureen liquid cleanser ($6.50, 750ml) for baby’s cleaning needs, Dettol ($9), Febreeze ($5.90), spirulina supplements ($85), Keratase professional shampoo ($64, one litre) and macadamia natural oil ($25, 300ml). Daily 12pm-8pm. Tel: 6345 4850

Dona Manis Cake Shop (#B1-93)
“Auntie, what does the name mean?”  “It’s the name of a small banana kueh.”  They no longer sell that item, but banana still features prominently in their much-raved about banana pie ($2.20), sans cinnamon. For over 20 years, the unassuming old-school bakery has been churning out delicious mini chocolate tarts ($0.80), egg tarts ($2.40 for two), raisin scones ($1.30), strawberry cakes ($3) and one-bite rum balls ($1). Mon-Sat 10am-6.30pm. Tel: 6440 7688

Teo Heng KTV Karaoke Studio (#01-75 to 82/90/92)
Sing your heart out at this family KTV joint with your pals. No one’s judging you when rates are as low as $4.50 an hour. $18 will get you the privacy of a small room with three of your chums for three hours (Happy Hour: Mon-Thu 12pm-7pm). Additional charges for food and drinks. Mon-Fri 1pm-1am; Sat, eve of PH 12pm-2am; Sun 12pm-1am. Tel: 6345 6513 / 6440 2794

 

KATONG V (30 East Coast Road)

Azzura Gelati (#01-01/02)
Enjoy Australian gelato hand-scooped (from $4), served creatively ($8.90 for Honey Bee) or on a waffle (plain $6, half-priced on Thu). Popular picks vanilla bean, blossom nougat, chocolate truffle and buttered peanut come in a one-litre take-home tub for $18.90. The spacious café also serves gourmet coffee made with Rubra beans from Perth, craft beers (Badger Tanglefoot $14) and fun merch your kids will love. Tel: 6348 1477

Japan Home (#01-10)
Pop in here for snacks like Snickers Minis ($1.50) and Super Lemon ($3.80) to $2 items like raincoats and baby wipes in this household retail chain store. For your home, consider a 3+1 drawer set ($9, U.P. $12.90), a bamboo storage box (from $6.90) or a non-stick pan ($15.90 for 26cm). Tel: 6348 0954

East Manhattan (#01-04)
Go for their freshly baked artisanal loaves (from $3.90) and sourdough bread ($6.80), which stay moist even after a few days. Choice picks from creative bakerowner John Wee: charcoal apricot, turmeric rosemary and matcha tomato. A selection of tarts and cakes (from $5.80) such as the refreshing lemon meringue chiffon also sit pretty in the display fridge. Tel: 9639 4179

KKKL Travel & Tours (#02-13)
Coaches to Malacca (from $23) and Kuala Lumpur (from $30) depart daily. Tag on a KL city tour ($40) to visit sights such as King’s Palace, National Monument, National Mosque, Independence Square, KL City Gallery, Chocolate Gallery, Petronas Twin Towers, Royal Selangor Pewter and a local products shop in a whirlwind 3.5 hours. Alternatively, grab a 4D2N Laguna Redang snorkelling package (from $359). Tel: 6348 6909

 

EAST COAST ROAD

Santa Grand Hotel East Coast (171 E. Coast Rd)
Admire the solid three-seater chair with mother-of-pearl inlays, Peranakan stools and crockery in the hotel lobby. Opt for a staycation (from $170. Tel: 6344 6866) to enjoy warmly furnished rooms with fleur-de-lis insignia, beautiful triptychs, and relax in the rooftop pool or Jacuzzi. For food, there’s PeraMakan (#01-02/03), run by true-blue Nonya chef-owner Kathryn Poh Neo. Find rare dish nasi ulam, or herb rice salad here ($18, order two days in advance. Tel: 6346 4202).

Simply Eden (164 E. Coast Rd)
The emphasis is on freshness and natural flavours: 6 Colours Rainbow salad ($8.90), grilled mushroom and vegetable sandwich ($8.90), and savoury tarts (from $4.90). Each blueberry and tea leaf is home-dried, while food wastage is kept to a minimum–they have a ‘Buy 2 get 1 free’ deal on same-price value items after 7.30pm daily and offer a partial refund for returned takeaway ware. Tel: 6345 6411

Conserved Terrace Houses (150 E. Coast Rd)
The local-meets-Western single-storey terrace houses in pastel shades were built on raised ground to guard against the rising tides. They were once beachfront homes.

Yong Huat (Alibabar the Hawker Bar, 125/127 E. Coast Rd)
They started out in 1949 selling Teochew fishball noodles, but now dish out a variety of chow mian, from Hokkien prawn mee ($4/5/6) to char kuay teow ($4/5/6). Regulars will order the ’special’, which is their fried mee suah ($4/6/8), a haven of wok hei, prawns and crispy pork lard. Nurse a beer or a side of buffalo wings ($7.90) from the other stalls while you’re at it.

Le Petit Paradis (95 E. Coast Rd)
Formerly at Alibabar the Hawker Bar, they now have their own place. It’s run by At-Sunrise GlobalChef Academy graduate chef Enoch Teo, 24. You’ll find affordable French cuisine here: foie gras ($14), sous vide lamb shoulder ($18.50), seafood bouillabaisse ($23) and duck leg confit ($16.50). On weekends, drop by for brunch (11am-3pm). Tel: 6447 0710

328 Katong Laksa (51 E. Coast Rd)
What’s Katong without its namesake? There’s much dispute over the original Katong laksa (purportedly the one at Roxy SquareI) but this is certainly the most prominent. Japanese tourists were spotted slurping the milky broth ($4.50/$5.50/6.50) and snacking on otah ($1.20) in air-conditioned comfort.

Qiu Rong Ban Mian (#B1-14 Roxy Square II Food Court, 50 E. Coast Rd)
To find this ’hidden’ food court, look for a flight of stairs labelled ’Parkway Parade Steamboat Food Court’. Many come for the steamboat, but we’re interested in the 14-year-old ban mian stall, run by a husband-and-wife team from Fuzhou. Order the crisp and fragrant guotie ($4.50 for 8 pcs) to eat with your generous bowl of ban mian ($3) or their daily soup: ABC ($3), red wine chicken ($3.50). Props to Shaun Lim of Azzura for the tip!

Lower East Side Taqueria (19 E. Coast Rd)
Get feisty with their chilli (imported habaà±eros, poblanos and jalapeà±os), which comes in three intensities. Slather it onto your open-faced tilapia taco ($12/28), cumin and grilled chicken burrito ($13), and charcoal grilled beef ($28). Quell the fires with horchata ($5), a sweet traditional Mexican rice drink, before you chug down some Mac’s Great White ($14 a pint, $8.50 half pint) or the bar’s boutique tequila, mezcal and rum sourced from Mexico (tasting prices from $28). Tel: 6348 1302

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple (19 Ceylon Rd)
Duck into Ceylon Road to marvel at one of Singapore’s oldest (since the 1850s) and tallest (21m) Indian temples. It started with the discovery of a statue of Lord Vinayagar (the Elephant God) by a pond with a Chempaka (Senpaga in Tamil) tree nearby. During World War II, a bomb hit the temple and in 2003 it was marked as a historic site by the National Heritage Board. Do follow certain guidelines before entering: www.senpaga.org.sg

 

112 KATONG (112 East Coast Road)

-18C (#B1-27)
Get your froyo fix here. -18C’s frozen yogurt creations (from $3.80) are made with 100 percent natural ingredients from Europe and Australia. They also sell froyo cakes ($5.30 a slice, $28 for 500g), and taiyaki ($3). Regulars can’t get enough of their original and mango flavours. Tel: 6636 0112

Captain Leo (#B1-16/24)
Say aye-aye to the self-proclaimed fried rice maestro who’ll also serve you witty taglines: “You’ll never find this in Italy”  and “Good food makes you wanna dance!”  On the local menu: cereal fried rice ($7.90), a twist on tze char favourite cereal prawns or go international with Italian fried rice ($11.90), true to their slogan. Tel: 6636 3932

The Mango Tree Indian Coastal Restaurant (#03-11)
After former construction manager CK Chin and his wife, Reeny Kosman set sail to the Indian coastal region of Goa over 13 years ago, they brought the flavours back to Singapore. Discover rasam ($5.90), a peppery and light tamarind soup to whet your appetite, squid molaga ($9.90), their signature garlic crab ($36) and mango naan ($4.80), and homemade kulfi ($6.50), or Indian ice cream. There’s also buffet lunch (from $19) and vegetarian dishes. Tel: 6604 9661

Free Shuttle Services and Valet Parking
Hop on their free shuttle from Paya Lebar MRT station (exit A, along Eunos Road 8. Daily 10.30am-8.15pm) or make use of the free valet parking service on weekends (drop-off: next to taxi stand; pick-up: B2 carpark. Fri 6-10pm; Sat-Sun, PH 11am-9pm).